The Associated Press launched a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) beginning Jan. 31, featuring its “award-winning contemporary and historical photojournalism.”
The partnership with blockchain technology company Xooa allows users to buy, sell and trade NFTs using crypto wallets or traditional credit cards. The first group will include digitally enhanced work from AP photographers, covering topics such as space, climate, and war. Each NFT will display the original metadata of the image, including the location, equipment, camera settings, and the time and date the image was taken.
“For 175 years, AP photographers have chronicled the world’s biggest stories with poignant and poignant images that still resonate today,” said Dwayne Desaulniers, AP Director of Blockchain and Data Licensing. “With Xooa Technology, we are proud to offer these iconic pieces to a rapidly growing global audience of NFT photography enthusiasts.”
Every two weeks, Pulitzer Prize-winning photos from AP Photographers will be on sale. All sales profits will be used to fund the nonprofit agency’s news gathering efforts.
The NFTs will be based on Polygon, a secondary metering network that uses Ethereum, which has relatively lower power consumption and higher speeds.
NFT has exploded in popularity lately, with Google searches now overtaking the term encryption. Data from market researcher DappRadar highlighted that NFT sales rose to $21 billion last year, thanks to increased interest during the pandemic. NFTs have been adopted by companies like Coca Cola and Gucci, as well as brands like Adidas and Ubisoft, and most recently GameStop, which launched its own crypto division to focus on developing the NFT market.
Last year, more than 28 million wallets traded in NFTs, a significant increase from just 545,000 wallets in 2020, according to DappRadar numbers.
Sales from NFTs last year were roughly equivalent to the amount of money the World Bank distributed to buy Covid-19 vaccines or that countries pledged to decarbonize at COP26 in 2021, according to the Reuters.